Boschendal wins ‘iconic’ legal trademark battle against Groot Constantia!

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imageOn the surface one sees the wine industry as very collegial, so it was a surprise to read about the court case between The Groot Constantia Trust and DGB Limited, the owners of the Boschendal brand, about the latter’s use of the pay-off line ‘A Cape Icon since 1685‘, which was contested by Groot Constantia.

Groot Constantia argued that the positioning would be understood to mean that Boschendal had commenced wine production in 1685, which is not accurate, and therefore Groot Constantia argued that the trademark should not be registered.

Boschendal’s legal counsel argued that the consumer take-out would be that Boschendal’s proposed trademark was to indicate that the farm was established in 1685. It acknowledged that it had not started making wine in that year, and had not intended to communicate this.

Judge Legodi Phatudi held the view that ‘an average consumer of Boschendal wine, who exercises reasonable care and having proper eyesight, would probably interpret the mark in a variety of ways. These include that the estate has been in existence since 1685, that the farm was founded in that year or that because of the date the estate is iconic in the Cape. A historian also confirmed to the court that the farm was established in 1685 and the court was shown a copy of the original title deed, which is in Dutch‘ reported the Pretoria News.

According to the report, the judge found that Boschendal would not suggest that it started making wine in that year, that the use of the word ‘icon‘ could not be contested by Groot Constantia, and concluded that ‘Boschendal was a historical landmark, and thus seen as an icon’.

In looking for an image for this blogpost, it was clear to see that every Boschendal bottle and communication states ‘founded 1685′,

Source: Pretoria News

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Tel (021) 433-2100 Twitter:@WhaleCottage  Facebook:  click here

 

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